There are a few Business Card ‘scanner’ apps we have tried over the years. The ones that use the camera on the iPhone and iPad2 are pretty good with less complicated (less creative) Business Cards. You shoot a picture of the card and the app does OCR on it. Then, gives you a chance to clean up the computer translation of what it saw on the card.
LinkedIn is offering a app called CardMunch that doesn’t have a need for you to do clean up. How it does it is a whole lot of humans looking at the images, seeing if they have that card in record. If not, they type the information in for you.
Kidding? No, LinkedIn is using Amazon’s Turk program that is truly a whole lot of humans doing the work. This does mean that when you snap a photo of a card using CardMunch, you don’t get instant results. But, do you need the card in your contact list this second if it means you don’t have to spend the next 5 minutes cleaning up the ‘scanned’ results?
The turn around of the card data varies, and when it comes back to CardMunch it includes data on the person that LinkedIn knows. You can add the contact to your iPad’s Contact and you can connect with the person through LinkedIn… both as simple as tapping a button.
We are hoping that CardMunch gets faster in the turn around as it would be cool to snap a photo of a card going into a meeting and have their LinkedIn data right away for reference when your talking to them. For now though, not having to type the card’s info into the iPad’s Contact area or clean up a scan means we never have to worry about when we will get around to getting all those print cards into our rolodex.